ILP volunteers deliver training for the Continuing Professional Development of members of LSZ
Zimbabwe ranks 134 out of 140 countries in the 2022 World Justice Project Rule of Law Index. Its well-publicised struggles in enforcing the rule of law point to serious deficiencies in democratic freedoms because one of the main factors that determines the ranking are the constraints on government powers. The lack of capacity means justice may not be obvious to the people practising in the law industry, and difficulties in enforcement may also worsen the issues. There are serious concerns amongst other legal stakeholders, judges, clients, and observers about the level of practical training and professional skills achieved by lawyers, especially those who are newly entering the profession from academic legal studies. This presented a challenge for the members of the Law Society of Zimbabwe.
The Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) is the representative and regulatory body of the legal profession in Zimbabwe, and is committed to justice and the rule of law by effectively and efficiently representing and regulating the legal profession to promote its sustainable development, the observance of the rule of law, and foster public trust and confidence in the justice system.
The International Lawyers Project (ILP) has worked with the LSZ for several years supporting their endeavour to strengthen the rule of law in the country through an effective, competent and confident legal profession by providing in-person and virtual training sessions. Last year, ILP conducted a series of training sessions, in partnership with Latham & Watkins, to improve the legal knowledge and skills of the members of LSZ on the following topics: a) Financial Crimes, b) Media Freedom, c) Natural Resources Management, d) Environment and Climate Change, and e) Commercial Practice.
On the 28th and 30th of March 2023, ILP held the last training on Commercial Practice, primarily on the topic of Financial Derivatives. ILP partnered with Itai Walter Chirume from AB & David Africa, and Delyth Hughes & Nick Surry from the London office of Latham & Watkins in carrying out the training sessions. The team covered the following topics in the module:
The financial markets in Zimbabwe and the local regulatory frameworks
The concept of derivatives from an international perspective, how it works in trading and the types of derivatives
Deeper dive on what derivatives are used for and practical exercises involving derivatives contracts.
The virtual training sessions were interactive, and were attended by lawyers from every sector, including non-profit organisations, private practice, financial services groups, and commercial banks. The CPD sessions were delivered with the financial and technical support from Advocates for International Development’s Rule of Law Expertise UK (ROLE UK) Programme and UKAid.
Photo: Nicky Surry (L) and Delyth Hughes (R) from Latham and Watkins